Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Babe Slinks Off disgust!

Okay, I got the results of the CONNections competition and I ended up with an honorable mention. Not too shabby, huh? Well, maybe ....

Except according to my American CP who sent and received the contest entry and results, I got the highest scores from the first round judges. Then the final round judge loved my story, characters and voice. So what went wrong? I'm Australian. Yup- nice healthy dose of insular bigotry. Really, in this day and age of supposed equality, what am I suposed to do with that?

There was a time, back in the 80's I think, when Oz was flavor of the month, especially after Paul Hogan's Croc Dundee characatures gained popularity. (You'll notice he turned American though- married an American, moved to America, lost the Australian heart and soul that made him special and is now a pathetic has-been- not exactly a great role model) But those days of Australia being a selling card are gone. Now if we write what we know it goes against us. I think that's sad. It's also very frustrating.

I put the change down to terrorists. No, not the agents and editors that terrorize us on a daily basis (however unwittingly), but the real villains who stir up the public consciousness and wrap us all in fear. I think Americans (and to a lesser extent the rest of the world) are responding to that ambient threat, that unknown factor of unwarranted/unprovoked attack since 911. I think it makes them turn away from anything "not us" in suspicion, and consolodate anything "us" for comfort and reassurance. I also think this explains the swing away from straight romance in favor of rom sus. They want a kick-butt heroine who saves the world. They want to be that strong, overcoming person coz it makes them feel secure and safe.

So I guess I'm saying that I'm like the towers-- blown out of there by fear, hate and prejudice. And you know, in all its forms, that evil presence stinks!


Tempest Knight said...

WTF?! That wasn't fair, Babe. You have a flare in your writing. The MS you sent me has grabbed my attention since the first lines. Even when I'm not the most well-verse person about Australia, I find myself so enchanted with your characters, I don't remember it's taking place in Aussie country. They shouldn't reject a good story just because you're Australian. It's totally stupid.

Babe King said...

Thanks, Tempest. Yeah, I was punched down, but I'm getting back to my feet, dusting off my knuckles, or was that slipping on some knuckle dusters....

With the help of my wonderful CPs I'm setting Mort (my next book) in the USA. Research here I come having never put toe in the place. :-) But Mort is urban based, unlike the Heels duo, so it could take place anywhere. We're thinking up state NY.

I really appreciate your vote of confidence in "Come to Heal", the sequel of the book I got slapped down for. Thanks to you the Spanish Juan speaks might make sense too. :-) What would I do without you?

That's the thing. So many American writers have helped me that this exclusion can't be a pervading American attitude. Still, agents and eds, despite their apparent god-like status, respond to the reading public. This is a business after all. And if that public demands my work be set in the USA then I'll have to find a way.

Nell Dixon said...

Hugs, as a UK writer, I understand completely.